We visited Chin's Szechwan Cuisine for CNY dinner, you know for good luck for the coming year of the Chicken or Rooster. We had the requisite lucky foods, Hunan Fish Fillet, Shrimp Pan Fried Noodles, and Szechwan Garlic Eggplant. Fish for an increase in prosperity, noodles for happiness & longevity, and oranges for fullness and wealth. Although I've lived in Encinitas for over 9 years it's the first time I"ve ever eaten Chinese food there and the first time to visit Chin's which has been around since 1976. The food was old school Chinese/American/Szechwan style food. Portions were large and everything was really tasty. Props to the waitstaff that was more than friendly and attentive. Overall it was a great first experience and for Maddie maybe her first official Chinese New Year kickoff dinner, so at least this year she'll get off to a good start!
The decor of Chin's was decidedly old school and quite elegant actually. It did have one item that made us both immediately remember dinners at grandma's. I think is a first generation characteristic that will soon be lost on the millennial generation. Their generation was the generation that came over to America on ships, they remember the depression, world war II, and having to scratch out a living while raising a family in a new country. They really valued the things that they had and they were proud to show it off and keep in in pristine condition. Everyone over the age of 50 will remember going to grandma's house in the summer and sticking to the furniture. Sturdy hardwood furniture with ornate brocade cushions covered in a thick clear vinyl slip covers. Seeing them in Chin's immediately made me think of all the holiday meals we had at grandma's house. Here's a toast to grandma especially on Chinese New Year where we take time out to think about and remember our ancestors.
Last night Maddie and I visited Dumpling Inn & Shanghai Saloon. It was her first encounter with traditional Chinese dumplings. Lately hipsters around the world have been stalking Xiao Long Bao (XLB). If you're an Amazon Prime Video member watch Emeril Eats World and watch Emeril and Mario Batalli go to China to find the best Xiao Long Bao. Here in the U.S. Din Tai Fung is acknowledged as the best XLB, in fact it's outposts throughout the world are known for the best Chinese dumplings around. If you happen to be near one give it a try. For the uninitiated (Maddie) there is a ritual to eating Chinese dumplings, especially XLB.
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